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Victor FlemingAn American Movie Master$
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Michael Sragow

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813144412

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813144412.001.0001

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Cars, Cameras, Action!

Cars, Cameras, Action!

(p.24) 2 Cars, Cameras, Action!
Victor Fleming

Michael Sragow

University Press of Kentucky

The young and mechanically minded Fleming was an expert in automobiles at a time when the film industry was just beginning to use them. He competed in one auto race in Santa Monica, providing the basis of a legend that he’d been a race car driver before becoming a director. Fleming also became interested in camera mechanics, photography, and film, and worked as a mechanic, chauffeur, and amateur photographer. He had a brief and unhappy marriage to Clara West Strouse in 1909 (the divorce was finalized in 1915), but then moved to Santa Barbara and began a relationship with actress Charlotte Burton. Here, he worked as a repairman, a driver, and eventually as an assistant cameraman in the American Film Manufacturing Company (also known as Flying “A” Studios) under directors/producers Allan Dwan, Marshall Neilan, and cameraman Roy Overbaugh. His work with these men on their successful silent films—mostly Westerns and action/adventures—led Dwan to take him to the Triangle Film Corporation in New York.

Keywords:   Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Clara West Strouse, Charlotte Burton, American Film Manufacturing Company, Flying “A” Studios, Allan Dwan, Marshall Neilan, Roy Overbaugh, silent films, Triangle Film Corporation

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